What to expect from Leeds United's January transfer window
(Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

Not long has passed since the closing of the summer transfer window. But already, we find ourselves seven days into another. This, however, is a January transfer window like no other.

Clubs still recuperating from the heavy lifting of the previous window and decreased revenue streams into the club as we yearn for the return of fans. Yet the expectation to progress remains - the COVID-19 pandemic a mere footnote to the 2020/21 Premier League season.

What to expect from Leeds United

Leeds United didn't quite break the bank in the summer, but Director of Football, Victor Orta, and CEO, Angus Kinnear, were pulling Andrea Radrizzani's purse strings to their limit.

The West Yorkshire club spent over £100m on talent from around Europe that shocked outsiders and allowed Leeds fans a wry smile in an otherwise bleak summer.

Now sitting 12th on their return to the top-flight, with 23 points from 17 games, the Whites can look to next season with safety from the dreaded drop zone only a handful of wins away.

Incomings

It comes as no surprise to hear from within the club that fans of Leeds should expect a quiet window.

There will be few complaints amongst supporters with credit being banked with the arrivals of Rodrigo MorenoRobin Koch, and Diego Llorente just over three months ago - all of which are regular features of their respective national teams.

While it could be a window with very little movement, head coach, Marcelo Bielsa and his side kick Victor Orta will be working in tandem, scrawling through an array of folders full to the brim with extensive statistical analysis on players from around the world.

So, who could be a detail on Bielsa's chaotic desktop?

Rodrigo de Paul

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Firstly, a player who the fanbase flirted with for weeks on social media - and it was reciprocated. As an attacking midfielder, Rodrigo de Paul has won all the plaudits this season and has even been regarded as one of the most creative players in Europe - surpassing Kevin de Bruyne with passes into the penalty area.

Over the summer, the Argentinian playmaker led everyone to believe he wanted a move away from his current side Udinese. Numerous interactions over social media suggested he was keen for a move to the newly promoted side. Though the clubs could not see eye to eye on his value.

With three goals and two assists in a struggling Udinese side, de Paul is hailed as a shining light in a dreary mid table campaign and his value to the north eastern side increasing further.

CEO, Angus Kinnear has more or less dragged de Paul's folder into the trash bin where he has joined Ben White as a no go transfer.

Fikayo Tomori

Despite having acquired two brand new international standard centre halves last summer, Leeds have found themselves with one available centre half going into the new year. That being Pascal Struijk, the former under-23 defensive midfielder turned centre back.

It has been an issue that has struck Leeds over the last few weeks, with Luke Ayling and on occasion Kalvin Phillips slotting in to help out. It is a hole in Bielsa's bucket that could do with being seen to, although any rectification may only have to be short term.

Leeds could be in search for a solution, while bitter rivals Chelsea, may hold the duct tape they need.

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Fikayo Tomori, born in Alberta, Canada, has already earned his first England international cap. Aged 23, the centre back already has experience in Derby County's play-off run to Wembley Stadium, in which they broke the hearts of Leeds fans at Elland Road in the semi-finals.

Last season, on his return to Chelsea, Tomori was an impressive figure in the back line of the west London club. However, midway through the campaign, his side started leaking goals, and confidence in the youngster began to falter.

Since dropping out of the starting line-up last year, Tomori has continued his struggles to displace Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma for a spot alongside Thiago Silva this season.

Now seemingly fourth choice behind Danish international Andreas Christiansen, a loan move could be exactly what is needed to revitalise his career.

Tomori is very much in the mould of a modern centre-back. He thrives on possession of the ball, is constantly looking to advance into the attacking stages of play.

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Although he has only made three appearances this season, he has a pass succession rate of 96%. Last year in his 15 appearances, that success rate was still as high as 87% - the same as Liam Cooper, the spot he will most likely fill.

As a youngster, with the ambition to impress and succeed, Fikayo Tomori could be the perfect stand in until Koch and Llorente return from their injuries.

Jean-Philippe Mateta

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Last year, Jean-Kevin Augustin arrived as a young French talent from the Bundesliga, and to say that transfer did Leeds more harm than good would be an understatement.

23-year-old forward from Mainz 05Jean-Philippe Mateta, is the next in line for Leeds to gamble on. Although the odds on this gamble would be leaning further in Leeds' favour than the Augustin deal.

Mateta is a former France youth international who is knocking on the door for a senior call up. Having scored seven goals in 12 games, he only trails footballing machine, Erling Haaland, by three goals despite playing for the penultimate team at the foot of the table.

The youngster enjoys playing short passes to teammates around him and scores most of his goals via intricate link up play. Alongside his deft touch, he provides an attacking threat from set pieces with is bulky 6'2" frame.

With Patrick Bamford brimming with confidence and already in double digits for the season, Mateta may not be essential, but he is one to be earmarked for the future.

Outgoings

With such a thin squad, each player playing a vital role. Not one player is left feeling worthless, wondering their role in the squad.

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In the long term, any arrivals will most likely mean a range of departures as a result. But as it stands, Bielsa has a trusted squad and he is unlikely to be desperate to rid cogs from his artistically functioning machine.

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